RUSH: To Karna in Naples, Florida. I am so happy that you let us call you back. You better start at the beginning. You were in Washington at a party during the Obama administration, right?
CALLER: Well, that’s right. It was some weeks ago, Rush, and I was really amazed to be invited since I did work for six years in the Reagan White House. (laughing)
RUSH: Who invited you?
CALLER: Well, it actually, to explain, it was one of those evenings where they had a musical performance, and PBS does come in and, as they’ve been doing for all administrations, they tape these performances and then they show them later.
RUSH: Oh, yeah. Who was the musical act?
CALLER: Well, this was the Hispanic heritage evening, and the talent was great. It was Jose Feliciano.
RUSH: Was Bob Griese there?
RUSH: Bob Griese there?
CALLER: No, Gloria Estefan, George Lopez, J.Lo.
CALLER: That group. The only reason I was there is I happened to serve on the board of the local PBS station that produces the show.
CALLER: So just a couple of us were invited. So I decided to go, course, and I’m walking around. You know, it’s a nice event at the White House, so I go in there, and I’m walking around, through the East Room and during cocktails, and they had a few cabaret tables there, I thought, ‘Well, gee, I don’t know anybody,’ obviously. So I thought I should be social. So I go over and I see a couple of empty chairs, so I sit down next to this very nice gentleman and lady, and I say, ‘What’s your connection to this event?’ And he says, ‘Well, Michelle’s social secretary is my client.’ ‘Hmm. How is that?’ And he said, ‘Well, I do her hair. Turns out he has a salon in the Upper East Side there no New York, he employs 22 stylists.’
RUSH: Wait, wait. I want to understand. He does the hair of the social secretary?
CALLER: That’s what he told me.
CALLER: Not the hair of the first lady but the —
CALLER: No, no, no, no.
RUSH: — the hair of the secretary.
CALLER: The social secretary. So she got him on the invitation list.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
CALLER: So he’s there, and so we get to talking about tough economic times and all of that. And I looked at him, I said, ‘You know, this administration could really use some people like you,’ and he stared at me, absolutely dumbfounded. He said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ And I said, ‘Well, look, when you look at the entire senior White House staff and the entire cabinet, there is not one person who ever ran as much as a candy store. You’re a small businessman. You hire, fire, worry about profit and loss, all the rest of it.’ The guy’s just staring at me. Well, at that point, Rush, I couldn’t resist. I got into a whole contrast between Obama and Reagan’s economic policies. Both inherited a bad economy and all of that. So he’s looking at me, and I said, ‘Look, let’s go back. Reagan’s answer was the 25% tax cuts in marginal rates across the board and getting it with a Democratic Congress. Getting government out of our lives. You know, he cut some 40,000 pages of regulations from the Federal Register,’ all that sort of thing. ‘The result? 7.7% growth in GDP the following year, eventually 18 million new jobs, a 27% expansion of GDP. You know, and eventually, years later, the elimination of the deficit through economic expansion.
CALLER: ‘Now, versus Obama: The spending, the deficits, more than all presidents combined.’ We’re going on about this and I said, ‘Look, if you had taken all the bailouts, the stimulus, the Cash for Clunkers, the 22% increase in spending for the agencies — well, now I haven’t run the numbers, but imagine if all that money had been used for across-the-board tax cuts,’ and as you said in an earlier segment, ‘a reduction in the capital gains tax and the corporate tax rate. Where would we be today?’ And I asked him. I said, ‘You know, I’ll bet in your small business, you could really use a permanent tax cut.’ He said, ‘Oh, for sure. Especially a payroll tax cut,’ and he said, ‘You know, I bet I could even hire two more stylists.’ So I said, ‘Well, why don’t you put a bug in the ear of your client.’ (laughing)
RUSH: Well, well, I just happened to get some numbers. While you were relaying this story, we have some specifics here on the business tax break that Barry is going to propose tonight. This from Bloomberg: ‘Obama tonight will propose extending through 2010 a temporary tax incentive that encourages businesses to accelerate purchases of equipment. Obama will call for a renewal of the 50% so-called bonus depreciation in the state of [Obama] speech to the nation. Extending the break, which expired December 31st, would save companies that make purchases of equipment like tractors and wind turbines, solar panels and computers a total of…’ (snorts) What’s that going to accomplish?
CALLER: Rush, he’s talking temporary. You know, all of this just shows such a terrific misunderstanding — not understanding at all, as we know — of the private sector. You know, Rush, you probably saw that great comparison that came around a while ago about the cabinets, comparing Teddy Roosevelt on through today and what percentage had private sector experience.
CALLER: Remember that? You know, Truman had 50%, Eisenhower 57%, Reagan 56%. Obama has a stunning 8%. I think it’s a lawyer or something.
CALLER: And in his book, Obama — I didn’t read it but I heard about it — reportedly refers to a few years that he had working in the private sector as feeling like he was ‘behind enemy lines.’
RUSH: Yes, yes, I have quoted that. And he’s also talked about he was motivated to get into politics by getting rid of Reagan and his minions.
RUSH: So this is not accidental. This is not naivete. And this temporary tax break, this is designed to fool people he thinks are stupid who are going to think that he’s changing course here. Buy equipment? Wind turbines? I got a story about wind turbines in the stack that I can’t wait to get to. But all this for businesses to buy temporary equipment like hair dryers, if you have a hair salon and so forth.
CALLER: Exactly. And he’s talking about a few temporary cuts for small business. Now, we just saw this morning some headlines: Verizon is cutting 13,000 jobs on Monday; Walmart Sam’s Club cutting 11,000 jobs.
CALLER: Nothing he says tonight’s going to help those folks.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER: Really, really, Rush, it’s just unbelievable. There’s a disconnect, a complete tone deafness or something. He doesn’t want to listen to the American people.
RUSH: Uhhhh, I don’t think it’s tone deafness. I think it is ideological stubbornness.
CALLER: Well, that’s true but, you know, I talked about Reagan a minute ago. I remembered a great quote even from Francois Mitterrand. What he said was, ‘It isn’t just that Reagan was a Great Communicator, though he was that, but that he is in communion with the American people.’ That was the difference.
RUSH: Well, that’s exactly right, and Obama is at odds with the American people. All radicals are. All liberals are at odds. All liberals have to govern against the will of the people. It is the extreme leftists who imprison people in dungeons. It is the extreme left which tortures people. Hitler was a man of the left by virtue of his social policies any which way you care to measure it. The US Senate and the House, the Democrats are running against the will of the people. Learn it, love it, live it.
RUSH: Houston. Steve, I’m glad you called, you’re on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, it’s great to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’ve been in the back row of the institute for quite a few years now and I’ve never had the opportunity to raise my hand, but it seems to me at some point you said that we need to argue with the premise of an argument before we begin to argue. And you had a couple of cuts on earlier today, Reich was one of them, and he said that somehow that the government and society are intertwined —
RUSH: Yeah, you can’t have a society without government.
CALLER: Well, let’s say that you and I are out in the playground playing marbles and we’re like-minded, and we want to accomplish the same task. And a disagreement comes up, and so what we do is, we go get the teacher, right? That’s government. That’s my impression. I own a small business. That’s my impression of what government does. I think the two are, frankly, opposed to one another. And as you increase one you squeeze the other one out. So when Karna called, brilliant, by the way, but when she called, she talked about how Reagan was in communion with the American people. These folks in power now are out of communion completely with the —
RUSH: Not only that, they’re at odds, they’re governing against us.
CALLER: That’s it. That’s it. And so my point is that this society, or the Great Society, as Johnson might have said, does not come from government at all. We are in opposition to, we stand juxtaposed to government, not with it.
CALLER: And so therefore when we engage in the argument somehow that society and government are the same thing, I think that we set ourselves up for failure.
RUSH: Exactly. You know, I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, one of my big pet peeves is that we too often make the mistake — the Republican Party does — of accepting a premise and then disagreeing with it at the margins. The premise, for example, that we need massive, meaningful health care reform. Okay, this has been advanced as something that we have to do, it just can’t wait, even though the Democrats been trying to do it for, what, hundred years, 50 years. Okay, their premise is that only the government can fix it and we need legislation, gotta get a bill, we’ve got to get a bill. There are certainly things in the health care system that need to be reformed but the real reform that would work would be to get as much government out of it as possible. So don’t accept the premise that government has to fix it. You accept the premise that government is breaking it. It’s too complicated and it might anger people. Republicans look at a lot of people thinking that government is their salvation and they just don’t want to take the time to teach it like Karna did with that hairstylist at the White House. Karna is a great example of when I say, ‘Be the smartest person in your family. Be the go-to person when somebody doesn’t understand something about economics or politics, you can explain it.’